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Trusts are financial instruments that are used by many Ohio residents to manage their assets. People may set up a trust to manage property while they are alive or as part of an estate plan that will go into effect when they pass away. Trusts do not last forever, and the arrangements may come to an end for a number of different reasons.

The grantor of a trust may leave a trustee in charge of assets that can be invested in order to grow the value of the trust. These kinds of trusts may last longer than trusts that simply hold property and disburse it to beneficiaries over time. However a trust is structured, it will end when all of the trust property is gone.

A trust that still has property can come to an end after a designated date or condition is reached. For example, a grantor may design a trust that ends once the beneficiary graduates college or achieves another mileston. When there is still property in a trust at its end date, the trustee must distribute it according to instructions left by the grantor. If there are no instructions to explain what happens when a trust ends, the beneficiaries and the trustee will have to reach an agreement about what to do with the remaining property in the trust.

If trust instructions are not specific, there is the potential for a legal dispute between the beneficiaries of the trust and the trustee. An estate planning attorney can help a client create a detailed trust document that addresses all relevant scenarios including what happens when the trust ends.